Acerola is a shrub or small tree that bears a delicious cherry-like fruit, which is why you usually hear the term “acerola cherry”, rather than just acerola. Other common names include Barbados cherry and West Indian cherry, but the scientific designation of this tropical fruit is Malpighia punicifolia. Native to Mexico, South America, and Central America, this fruit has been prized for thousands of years by various indigenous cultures.
In terms of culinary applications, acerola cherries have a distinct flavor and are eaten in much the same way as regular cherries, although they aren’t related: either raw, or in baked goods, candies, ice creams, jellies, jams, and frozen juice concentrates. There is some use of acerola in the production of certain alcohols. The real benefit, however, comes from the rich mixture of nutrients and vitamins contained in the fruit, in addition to a wealth of antioxidants and one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C in any fruit.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of Acerola.
Recent research has shown that the antioxidants found in acerola cherries can actually help to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. This regulation of insulin and glucose is a crucial means of preventing diabetic spikes and drops, which can be dangerous (or even deadly) for people suffering from diabetes. Acerola cherries not only help to prevent the onset of the condition as well but also regulate the blood sugar level in healthy individuals.
Acerola cherries contain a diverse mix of antioxidants, including carotenoids and bioflavonoids, both of which neutralize the effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the damaging byproducts of cellular metabolism that cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous or unhealthy cells, while also exacerbating other serious diseases. In terms of acerola cherry’s antioxidants, they have been linked to slowing the spread of lung cancer in patients suffering from this disease.
The high level of antioxidants found in acerola cherries are not only good for slowing the spread of cancer, but also for generally cleansing the body of dangerous toxins and substances that cause its breakdown. The carotenoids in acerola cherry help to protect your eye health and boost the health of your skin, while bioflavonoids help to boost your cognitive function and prevent the onset of other age-related diseases.
Acerola cherries have one of the highest contents of vitamin C, topped only by camu camu. For people who want a quick boost to their immune system, pop some acerola cherries into your weekly diet and see how much better you’ll feel! Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s primary line of defense against foreign agents and pathogens. Furthermore, vitamin C is a crucial component of collagen, which means that your body can heal itself faster with repairing cells, blood vessels, organs, and tissues from illness or injury.
Improves Heart Health
As a rich source of potassium, like many juicy fruits, acerola cherry can also boost heart health. Potassium is a vasodilator, so it helps to relieve strain on the cardiovascular system by dilating the blood vessels and increasing blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure. This can lower your chances of developing atherosclerosis, which also prevents heart attacks and strokes. The rich variety of antioxidants also helps to keep the cardiovascular system clear of excess cholesterol and free radicals causing oxidative stress.
Source of information: organicfacts.net